Round 1 of the WA Off-Road Racing Association Club Championship and the '2017 Duke of York Hotel Narrogin Chase' was a great success, held in Narrogin on 6-7 May 2017.
Saturday started with scrutineering at Elder’s Narrogin, where competitors parked their race cars in the carpark and put on a display for the locals before taking them to get dirty at the Patmore property in Cuballing.
With a healthy field of 29 entries, Saturday afternoon’s racing started with a very slippery gravel track and lots of dust – a result of no rain being recorded in the area at all during April.
Two-at-a-time starts saw some close match-ups and the battles to be first to the corner were entertaining for spectators up on the hill. With the field split into two heats, competitors who would normally race against each other were able to watch their rivals have some fun while they waited for their heat to start.
Section 1 saw only two casualties – Chris Giles and Alex Cowan (444) smashed a front shockie to smithereens, and David and Jaxon Fong (881) had fuel pressure problems. Avid short course fan and event favourite Harleigh Uren (77) quickly took the lead and finished the section a minute ahead of Stephen and Brin Ketteridge-Hall (181). Nathaniel Edwards and Luke McLean (161) rounded out the top three, 30 seconds behind Stephen. Brake issues stopped Shane and Curt Elphinstone (44) from pushing too hard, resulting in fourth place for the section.
Sunday morning started early with Section 2 in the same format, with two-up starts and the field split into two heats.
Stephen and Brin Ketteridge-Hall were the first to see misfortune, followed by Steve Knowles (115) who unfortunately did a gearbox on his single seat Prolite buggy.
With Ketteridge-Hall out of the race, Shane and Curt Elphinstone moved up to third outright for the section, with newcomers Chris Unstead and Nick Scolaro (674) at their heels in their UTV. Edwards had a change of co-driver for the section with father Charlie, but the dust kept them 22 seconds behind Uren.
Section 3 kicked off just before lunch, and the warm weather was unexpected for this time of year and made the trek up the hill challenging for spectators. Luckily the view at the top was worth it.
Joe Hawkins and Steve Rawlings (229) didn’t have a great day when the crank shaft bearings let go on their Super 1650 buggy. Uren maintained his lead, and while Elphinstone beat Edwards in the section, it wasn’t enough to bump him out of second place in the outright positions.
At the end of the day, it was Short Course Champion Harleigh Uren who took out first place, Nathaniel Edwards and Luke Mclean second, and Shane and Curt Elphinstone in third.
There were plenty more success stories throughout the field, with 22 competitors finishing the event in full. For the complete report on lap times and results, head to the myraceresult webpage.
Competitors, officials and spectators alike loved the family friendly vibe and how smoothly the event was run. The event organisers would like to thank the property owners and the many volunteers that helped to make this happen.
The WA Off-Road Racing Association’s next event, the 2017 Marsue Transport Bencubbin 400, is just three weeks away on the WA Day long weekend 3-5 June 2017. This event will also be Round 3 of the 2017 CAMS Carnarvon Motel WA Off-Road Racing